Bus and Coach Engineering Manager

A bus or coach engineering manager is responsible for managing the engineering department of a bus and coach operator. The department may comprise a team of apprentices, technicians, senior technicians and specialist engineers. It is their duty to make sure the vehicles in service are safe, reliable and roadworthy in line with organisational and regulatory requirements. They are also responsible for ensuring the operations of the vehicles are complaint with health and safety regulations, industry regulations for Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Traffic Commissioner and Operators Licence requirements and the vehicles meet the required standards for operation. As engineering managers have a clear understanding of all of the processes involved in bus and coach engineering, they will constantly review working practices in the depot, managing the infrastructure and resources efficiently and managing environmental impact. By analysing data and inspecting the working techniques, the manager will apply various engineering methods to improve the performance of the vehicles. The bus and coach engineering manager will also initiate preventative maintenance, which involves checking the vehicle and replacing defective parts, preventing breakdowns wherever possible. As a senior member of staff the engineering manager will monitor staff and financial performance, and liaise with suppliers so the workshop is stocked with the right parts. The manager must also develop rapport with customers to determine and address their needs and will also report to the company’s directors or line managers and provide them with regular updates about the performance of the engineering department. 


  • Develop scheduled plans to organise and manage the fleet maintenance schedule to provide timely availability of safe, clean, legal and reliable buses and meet operational performance standards  
  • Actively work with drivers and vehicle inspectors to prioritise and manage breakdown and maintenance issues, including unplanned events i.e.; accidents, breakdowns and drivers’ defect reports in a safe, timely and efficient manner.
  • Apply practical engineering solutions using established and emerging technologies to support workshop engineers in problem solving.
  • Monitor the efficiency of depot engineering activities, making recommendations for improvements in terms of quality, procedures and/or cost control in order to reduce frequency and severity of breakdowns.
  • Ensure colleagues and team adhere to legislation and industry best practice relating to health, safety and security, proactively seeking opportunities to identify and reduce risks and introducing measures to minimise occurrence of future incidents.
  • Manage the performance of staff, leading by example to create an environment that motivates and encourages continuous improvement and addresses poor performance
  • Prepare and manage an engineering budget that sets and delivers realistic budget targets whilst maintaining standards of performance and customer service.
  • Manage the storage, removal and disposal of waste in line with company procedures and up to date legislative requirements, actively seek opportunities to improve waste management and minimise the impact on the environment.
  • Develop communication channels build effective relationship with all stakeholders i.e.; internal colleagues, suppliers, manufacturers and regulators, adapting appropriately according to the needs of the range of audiences, presenting information clearly and concisely identifying key points for action.  
  • Prepare and deliver effective reports in a professional and confident way utilising software packages and demonstrating Information Technology skills


  • The requirements in the management of current statutory and company Health and Safety regulations, industry regulations for Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Traffic Commissioner and Operators Licence requirement and how these are met in own organisation.
  • The requirements and procedures to gain and maintain a Transport Manager’s Certificate of Professional Competence.
  • How to prepare and manage an engineering department budget and how to plan staffing levels and control costs and resources whilst maintaining performance and customer service and ensuring all data is accurately recorded.
  • Current and emerging engineering standards, principles and procedures within own organisation and the wider industry sector.
  • Methods to manage an engineering team to maximise efficiency, effectiveness and motivation, including procedures to monitor and address staff performance and facilitate learning and development in line with legal and organisational requirements.
  • Practices that minimise the impact of vehicle maintenance and workshop activities on the environment  
  • The current requirements for running a safe, clean and efficient workshop.
  • The current Employment legislation and regulations, including Diversity and Equality and procedures to manage staff in own organisation


  • Customer oriented, develops a rapport with customers, determining and addressing the needs of internal and external customers. Communicates with and act upon information from the customer, dealing sensitively and positively with complaints and special requirements.
  • Focussed on achieving results, collaborates with peers and seniors to identify ways to exceed expectation, accepts responsibility for delivery.
  • Is positive and proactive about managing and developing team, sharing best practice and identifying a range of opportunities for development of self and others. Encourages others to succeed, openly recognises the contribution of others and provide timely and constructive feedback on performance  
  • Listens actively and uses a range of communication methods to suit the audience ensuring people have a clear understanding of what is expected.  
  • Makes sense of complex situations and considered decisions based on personal initiative, technical knowledge, analysis and understanding of the different interests of the stakeholders. Accepts responsibility for decisions and recognises limit to own authority.
  • Demonstrates drive and resilience seeing things through to finish, constantly seek to maximise own and team’s performance. Questions the way things are done in order to improve performance, seeks feedback from customers and other stakeholders, prepared to try new things, review competitors to identify best practice. Embraces change and consider its effect on all team members and customers  
  • Has a natural authority, making a good initial and sustained impression, is a role model, behaves and leads in a consistent way in regards to health and safety, engineering and financial practices, personal development, corporate responsibility and other company procedures

Entry Requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their applicants. In order to optimise success it is recommended that the candidate has completed a relevant bus and coach engineer apprenticeship at Level 3, an appropriate equivalent qualification or has significant work experience in an engineering supervisor role. The candidate will be required to achieve level 2 maths and English prior to the completion of this apprenticeship.


Typically the duration of this apprenticeship is 36 months. This period may be reduced for a candidate with previous relevant experience and / or someone already partially qualified.

Professional Qualifications / Recognition

This apprenticeship is set at level 4.

This standard has been designed to meet the professional standards of the relevant professional bodies of the Engineering Council for initial registration as an Engineering Technician (Eng. Tech). On completion of the standard the Engineering Technician will be eligible to apply for registration as an Engineering Technician with a relevant professional body’. For those deemed capable and ready, further career development/ progression opportunities could be considered, such as higher levels of education and training leading to a business management or engineering degree. 

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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